What Employees Want: A Satisfying Culture

What Employees Want: A Satisfying Culture

Written by: Rebecca Korsen

Does your company have a culture that keeps employees satisfied? If not, consider the impact to your bottom line. A Glassdoor survey showed that more than half the respondents valued workplace culture over salary [1].  That makes sense, right? Culture is a driver for current employees, new hires, and for fresh talent emerging in the industry–and directly affects your business performance. In this edition, we will explore several characteristics of a strong culture that will help attract and retain talent and drive results.

Employees want…Collaboration – 

Most can agree that collaboration fuels employee motivation. Employers can foster a collaborative environment by encouraging teamwork.  Holding weekly team meetings is a good starting point – establish a dedicated time for employees to ask questions and raise concerns, as well as connect with one another.  Consider using a business communication platform, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, to connect with all employees.  These platforms enable one-stop shopping for connecting colleagues.  A final key to collaboration is to encourage two-way exchanges between leaders and employees.  Creating this open dialogue allows employees’ ideas to be heard, increasing employee satisfaction. 

Employees want…Flexibility – 

Since the Spring of 2020,  workplace flexibility has become even more important in attracting and retaining talent.  During COVID-19, employees have struggled to juggle professional and personal obligations while working remotely.  Leaders can help by showing flexibility with employee work schedules.  Many organizations have allowed employees to establish a work schedule that accommodates their needs. Others have offered employee flex days. Flex days can be offered at some regular frequency so employees can dedicate additional time to personal care. This option also promotes employee wellness, creating a healthier, more focused workforce. 

Employees want…Innovation – 

Most employees want to make an impact within their organization. For example, Google allows employees to dedicate 20% of their time to innovation.  Leaders can foster a culture of innovation by encouraging employees to share their ideas.  It’s easy enough to stand up brainstorming sessions or online forums.  And recognizing innovation–big or small–is another positive step to take.  For example, an employee that proposes a small process improvement is showing innovation by striving for results-based improvement.  

Employees want …Growth – 

To improve engagement and retention, understand that many employees want to further themselves professionally and realize their potential. Consider how you can provide developmental opportunities to your employees.   Expanding assignments, and offering or sponsoring additional training specific to their role can further skill development that drives better business outcomes. Offering career rotational positions or special short-term assignments will allow employees to explore new and different areas within your business that may fuel long term career pathing for employees.  Creating online career navigation tools, and setting up monthly training on relevant topics will show employees your commitment to their career development.   

Employees want…Encouragement

Employees value an employer that values their hard work and determination.  Encouragement can take on many different forms. For example, you can provide verbal positive and critical feedback, so employees feel valued and have clear measurable expectations. Providing individual feedback should be scheduled consistently 1:1 to discuss career goals & objectives as well as overall performance. Teams can also provide feedback, or “shoutouts” highlighting individual positive performance. This can be accomplished through team meetings or through team emails. A second form of encouragement can be through providing rewards or incentives. Incentives/rewards can be in the form of providing certificates of appreciation, assigning an employee of the month, providing monetary rewards such as gift cards or vouchers, or assigning leadership/higher level tasks to recognized employees. 


By incorporating these aspects into your employee experience, you will enjoy the rewards. Once employees are offered collaboration, flexibility, innovation, growth, and engagement, they will consistently bring their A-game. And that investment pays big dividends that will boost your bottom line.